Confectionery suppliers admire fairness, logic and a clear strategic direction when it comes to the buyers with whom they deal.
Tesco's Rebecca Brindley was praised across the board. "She instantly impresses you. She knows her subject, is enthusiastic and makes you feel you're all on the same team," said one manufacturer who voted for her. Another said: "We've got a lot of time for her. She's very logical."
Brindley is prepared to make bold decisions. "She has good judgement and will take risks after very careful analysis of data and information. She engenders trust."
Morrisons' Lisa Moore was highly regarded for her approach to the category. "She's very straightforward, unlike some other buyers who can be a bit illogical and act on impulse. We've got a lot of respect for her, " said one supplier while another said: "Lisa is always positive in her outlook and business dealings. She is 100% committed to driving the category forward and supportive of suppliers' initiatives if they meet her aspirations."
Of Waitrose's Andrea Watson one supplier said: "She is very helpful. We value her judgement about our brand as well as about the buying process."
Asda's Robert Wilks is a good listener. "We find him easy to get hold of and to talk to. He has very good negotiating skills and keeps his promises," said one company while another added: "He is very fair but firm and honours commitments."
Mukesh Vithlani, from Dhamecha Cash & Carry, is well known among suppliers in the cash and carry sector. Manufacturers were impressed with his indepth knowledge of the business and its suppliers.
It appears, however, that some confectionery buyers want to keep out of the limelight. Booker's Chris Neal was our sixth winner but could not provide a photo. His strength was seen as implementation and execution of activity.